cover image A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White

Barbara Herkert, illus. by Lauren Castillo. Holt/Ottaviano, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62779-245-5

Herkert and Castillo pay tender tribute to Elwyn White who, as E.B. White, would write three enduring books for children: Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. In a subtle narrative structured like verse, Herkert dwells on White’s childhood, on the foundational connections he made to nature (including a mouse he secretly kept in his room), and his attentiveness to his natural surroundings: “His ears captured/ an owl’s query,/ the breeze’s beckoning,/ the scuffing of horse hooves.” Castillo uses brown ink, soft watercolors, and digital manipulation to create sturdy, nostalgic scenes of city and country to accompany the development of White’s writing and family life. Rich and rewarding. Ages 5–9. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Oct.)